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Variability of the North Atlantic summer storm track: mechanisms and impacts on European climate

Dong, B., Sutton, R. T., Woollings, T. and Hodges, K. (2013) Variability of the North Atlantic summer storm track: mechanisms and impacts on European climate. Environmental Research Letters, 8 (3). 034037. ISSN 1748-9326

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/034037

Abstract/Summary

The summertime variability of the extratropical storm track over the Atlantic sector and its links to European climate have been analysed for the period 1948–2011 using observations and reanalyses. The main results are as follows. (1) The dominant mode of the summer storm track density variability is characterized by a meridional shift of the storm track between two distinct paths and is related to a bimodal distribution in the climatology for this region. It is also closely related to the Summer North Atlantic Oscillation (SNAO). (2) A southward shift is associated with a downstream extension of the storm track and a decrease in blocking frequency over the UK and northwestern Europe. (3) The southward shift is associated with enhanced precipitation over the UK and northwestern Europe and decreased precipitation over southern Europe (contrary to the behaviour in winter). (4) There are strong ocean–atmosphere interactions related to the dominant mode of storm track variability. The atmosphere forces the ocean through anomalous surface fluxes and Ekman currents, but there is also some evidence consistent with an ocean influence on the atmosphere, and that coupled ocean–atmosphere feedbacks might play a role. The ocean influence on the atmosphere may be particularly important on decadal timescales, related to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:34333
Publisher:IOP Science

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